Low porosity hair can be difficult to maintain because it has very specific needs that are different from medium and high porosity hair. In this article, we will discuss how to grow out low porosity hair.
What Is low Porosity Hair
If you have low porosity hair this means that the cuticles are very close together, making it harder for hair products to penetrate the strands.
This is the opposite of high porosity hair, where the cuticles remain too far apart. With low porosity hair, it’s more difficult for the hair to get sufficient moisture, which can result in the hair becoming dry, dull or flat.
Low porosity hair is usually due to genetics rather than other factors like heat styling and chemical dyes.
The key to managing low porosity hair and keeping it healthy is following a hair routine that suits your hair type. Getting essential moisture into your hair is key to helping it grow.
Signs You Have low Porosity Hair
If you’re unsure if you have low porosity hair, then look out for these common characteristics:
- You often have product build up
- You experience dandruff or itchy, flaky scalp frequently
- Your hair often feels rough or dull
- Your hair takes a long time to wet
- Your hair takes a long time to dry
- Your hair lacks shine and volume
- You have brittle ends
If you have one or more of these symptoms, then you could have low porosity hair. You can confirm this by doing the porosity test.
The Porosity Test
There are two ways to determine whether you have low porosity hair.
Firstly, when you next wash your hair, put a timer on and see how long it takes for your hair to get fully saturated with water.
If you have low porosity hair, it can take a longer time for the hair to absorb the water.
When you apply conditioner, you might notice that it sits on the hair or slides off, rather than being absorbed. This is another sign that you have low porosity hair.
Another way to determine your hair’s porosity is to do the strand test. This involves dropping a clean strand of hair into a glass of water. If it floats on the top, then this could indicate that you have low porosity hair.
8 Ways To Grow low Porosity Hair
It can be challenging looking after low porosity hair when it doesn’t let in moisture, but there are effective ways to change that.
Low porosity hair can be healthy and grow beautifully, but it can’t be cared for in the same way as other hair types.
Here are 8 simple ways to effectively grow low porosity hair:
1. Use Lightweight Oils
Coconut oil and olive oil are great for some hair types, but they might not be the best option for low porosity hair.
The reason for this is because heavier oils contain bigger molecules that won’t be able to penetrate the hair shaft and provide sufficient moisture.
So what should you use instead? Lightweight oils like grapeseed and argan oil will be more effective at penetrating the hair strands, allowing moisture to stay in the hair.
If the hair is moisturized, this will prevent breakage and split ends, allowing the hair to grow at a healthy rate.
2. Use Heat To Deep Condition
If you don’t see great results from deep conditioning, it could be because you’re not using heat on your hair.
Heat helps to open up the cuticles and allow moisture to get in, which is why it’s so beneficial for low porosity hair.
Deep conditioning your hair should always be used in combination with heat to allow it to penetrate the hair strands more effectively.
These are the steps to follow:
- Warm up your chosen oil (make sure it’s lightweight) in the microwave for a few seconds until it’s warm. Make sure it’s not too hot before applying
- Apply the oil in sections, starting with the roots, as this is where the product build up occurs first
- Work your way through the lengths of the hair, paying extra attention to the ends of the hair as they are prone to split ends
- Leave this in the hair for 30 minutes or longer
- Rinse it out of the hair thoroughly with water and a gentle shampoo. You can use conditioner if your hair still feels dry
- To enhance the deep conditioning treatment, use a heated cap, steamer or a hooded dryer. If you don’t have any of these, you can use a shower cap and cover it with a hat to lock in warmth and allow the oils to penetrate the hair shaft
You can deep condition the hair once or twice a week, depending on your hair type and whether it’s dry or damaged.
Deep conditioning with heat regularly will keep the hair hydrated and healthy, which will promote growth.
3. Clarify The Hair
The main problem with low porosity hair is that it’s susceptible to product build-up.
Many of the products that you put on your hair will simply sit on the hair and not get fully absorbed.
This can lead to the product, dirt, and residue building up on the scalp, making it greasy and prone to dandruff and scalp infections.
Washing with shampoo and conditioner isn’t enough. You need to use a clarifying shampoo or rinse to strip away this build-up and leave the scalp thoroughly clean.
A great, natural product that you can use is apple cider vinegar. ACV helps to balance the hair’s pH level, which reduces dandruff and soothes an itchy scalp.
To make an ACV rinse all you need to do is the following:
- In a spray bottle, mix 1tp – 1tbsp of ACV with approximately 8 ounces of water. Shake it thoroughly to ensure it is mixed up
- Spray the solution all over wet hair and begin rubbing it in the scalp. Use your fingertips and make gentle, circular motions to try and dislodge stubborn dirt, bacteria and residue
- Leave it in for 3 – 5 minutes
- Rinse out the solution with warm water
- Allow the hair to air dry
Another product that is highly effective is the Cantu refresh root rinse.
It contains beneficial ingredients for the scalp like apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil, and shea butter to deeply cleanse the scalp and remove any product build-up.
It is gentle enough to be used frequently and it’s suitable for people with sensitive or itchy scalps.
How often you need to clarify the hair depends on how often you wash it, what products you use on it, and the overall condition of your hair.
Generally, you should clarify the hair every 4 washes. For most people, once a month is beneficial at removing build-up and giving their scalp a thorough cleanse.
Some people who are prone to build up or experience excess sebum may need to use a clarifying rinse more frequently.
4. Protect Your Hair When Sleeping
Cotton pillowcases and bedsheets can cause friction during the night, resulting in hair that is tangled, dry and brittle.
To avoid this, you can switch to using satin pillowcases or use a satin headscarf instead.
Unlike cotton, satin does not absorb moisture and leaves the hair dehydrated, so it will keep the hair healthy and smooth.
If your hair is long, you can put your hair in a loose bun or ponytail while you sleep to avoid any knots or breakage while you sleep.
Making this simple switch will help to add moisture to the hair and promote growth.
5. Do Scalp Massages
Frequent scalp massages are not just good for relaxation, but they can promote hair growth by removing excess sebum and build-up on the scalp.
To give yourself a scalp massage, you need to do the following:
- Mix a lightweight oil with a few drops of essential oil in a jar or bottle. For this example we will use sweet almond oil and 4 – 6 drops of tea tree oil
- You can heat this mixture up before applying to enhance the benefits
- Put your hair in sections and begin applying the mixture to the scalp
- Massage it in with your fingertips, putting moderate pressure around your scalp to remove dirt and impurities
- Do this for 3 to 5 minutes
- Let the mixture sit in the hair for 10 – 30 minutes
- As an optional step you can put a cap over the hair to lock in heat and add more moisture to the scalp
- Wash it out as usual and leave to dry
Scalp massages are a great way to stimulate blood circulation, which will promote growth and result in healthier, stronger hair strands.
6. Use The Right Products
Using products formulated for your hair type will ensure that it has the perfect balance of ingredients to provide sufficient moisture to the hair.
Not all products are created equally; if you have low porosity hair then you should avoid products with heavy oils or creams as these can weigh the hair down.
This rose water shampoo by TGIN contains a gentle blend of ingredients to detangle the hair, add shine and promote hair growth.
This product is formulated for people with fine hair who are seeking more volume as it aims to lift the hair from the roots and define waves and curls.
It doesn’t contain harsh ingredients like sulfates, parabens, and petrolatum.
Use it in combination with the TGIN Rose Water Frizz-Free Hydrating Conditioner to achieve smooth, sleek results.
7. Reduce Protein Hair Treatments
While protein is considered good for the hair, it’s not recommended for all hair types.
Low porosity hair is protein sensitive, so putting protein-packed products on it can actually pull essential moisture out of the hair.
This can dry out the hair and cause weak ends, which affects the growth rate of the hair.
If you do use protein on the hair, opt for hydrolyzed wheat protein oil as this protein contains smaller molecules that can penetrate the strands more effectively.
8. Look Into Your Diet
If you’ve tried all of the above methods but your hair is still not growing or does not look healthy, then you should take a close look at your diet and lifestyle.
If the body isn’t getting enough nutrients, then the hair will be lacking essential nutrients.
Ensure that you are getting sufficient protein in your diet by eating a balanced diet that revolves around healthy amounts of meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
Some non-meat alternatives are chickpeas, tofu, beans, lentils, and peanuts.
Eating a range of vegetables and healthy fats such as avocado will help to keep you healthy and this will reflect on your hair.
What To Avoid If You Have low Porosity Hair
You have to care for low porosity hair in order for it to grow and remain healthy. Low porosity hair can specific needs, so you will need to avoid doing the following things.
Avoid Putting Too Many Products On The Hair
As low porosity hair is prone to product build-up, you should avoid using heavy creams, mousse, and hair sprays as much as possible.
Even dry shampoo can clog the pores and cause build-up. Keeping your hair care routine simple will work better for low porosity hair, and it means that your hair will require fewer washes.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
The more you expose your hair to chemicals like sulfates and parabens, the drier your hair is likely to become.
If you are trying to grow your hair and maintain its health, you will want to avoid anything that dries out the strands. Instead, opt for natural products that contain lightweight oils like sweet almonds and grapeseed.
Limit Heat Exposure
While heat is good for low porosity hair, it shouldn’t be used too frequently in the form of heat styling tools.
Straighteners and curling wands can cause dryness and make the ends brittle, which will prevent the hair from growing.
Try to limit the use of these tools as much as possible, especially if your hair is already showing signs of damage.
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